Human trafficking charges were dropped against four people arrested in a sting conducted by the Colusa County Task Force. They instead are each charged with pimping and pleaded not guilty.

The Colusa County District Attorney’s office did not reply to requests for comment in time for publication.

Arrested in the sweep were Adan Ayala Jr., 44, Yuba City; Joseph Ethan Ayala, 26, Colusa; Eurik Manuel Rivas, 26, Yuba City; and Cathy Irene Mendoza, 38, Yuba City. Joseph Ayala and Rivas are being held without bail and Adan Ayala and Mendoza remain in Colusa County Jail, each in lieu of $1 million bail.

Details surrounding the case are still not available because it’s still under investigation, according to an official with the task force. It’s unclear why the human trafficking charges were dropped and pimping charges remain.

Human trafficking and pimping are different crimes, according to the state penal code. Human trafficking concerns forcing someone to perform labor, including prostitution, against their will; pimping involves acting as the “manager” of someone already willingly participating in prostitution.

The arrests were made in Colusa and Yuba City on July 25, with help from other local agencies.

Ayala and Ayala Jr. are being represented by the law office of Beauchamp and Santana. Rivas’ attorney is Tedd Mehr, while Mendoza’s is Grady Davis.

All four suspects are scheduled to appear before a Colusa County judge on Aug. 30 to set preliminary hearings.

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